How 9/11 prompted more young people to enter the military
In the past three years, the U.S. Military has overwhelmingly exceeded their recruitment goals in all branches -- a military couple explains why they enlisted.
Story from The Takeaway. Listen to audio for full report.
Since 9/11, more and more young people have opted to enter the military. In the past three years, the U.S. Military has overwhelmingly exceeded their recruitment goals in all branches. As entering the service becomes a more attractive option for the upcoming generation, The Takeaway looked at how the events of 9/11 have affected the decision to enlist.
Naveed and Angela Ali Shah are two such people who turned to enlistment after 9/11. Married and in the U.S. Army, Naveed is a public affairs specialist who served in Iraq while Angela has spent the last four years in the reserves. Both Angela and Naveed were in eighth grade at the time of the attacks.
"It left a huge mark on my life," Angela said, recalling of 9/11. The events of that day left her with a "huge empathy that carried with [her] for her entire life."
The greatest impetus for both Naveed and Angela's enlistment was that the U.S. Army provided them with an outlet to "make a difference."
"I just wanted to do something and take action against those who had attacked my country," Naveed said.
The Ali Shahs are both practicing Muslims. Having seen the fierce religious extremes that fueled the 9/11 attacks, Naveed wanted to make a point that not all Muslims were extremist terrorists.
"Not all Muslims are on this end of the spectrum of zealousy against the U.S., simply just to forward their skewed worldview," Naveed said.
In the wake of a decade of the War on Terror and the recent death of Osama bin Laden, both Naveed and Angela say that the al-Qaida leader's passing did not offer any closure to the turmoil of 9/11.
"Osama bin Laden was one man. His operation is going to continue no matter what we do -- unless we are able to eradicate every single religious extremeist on the face of the planet," Naveed said. "Until we are able to bring that into a dialogue and say 'enough is enough,' it's going to continue."
Read more about this story and others like it as The Takeaway looks back at "Decade 9/11."
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.